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The Art of the Knife

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 19th, 2013

It’s not often you will find three people with 130 years of

experience still actively working together.

“It will probably never happen again,” said Dave Jackson, owner of Clinton’s Save A Lot Food Store. And, he’s probably right.

Jackson’s store currently employs three meat cutters with 130 years of combined experience.

Richard Burk, 80, is celebrating his 60th year; Byrl Crawley, 64, marks 50 years; and Jon Groves, 45, has 20 years experience.

The most senior meat cutter, Burk, began his career at the long ago burned down DeWitt County Locker. He attended six months of training at the National School of Meat Cutting in Toledo, Ohio thanks to the GI Bill.

That education landed him into a 48-year career with Eisner (today known as Jewel), working in stores throughout Central Illinois, including Bloomington, Springfield, Decatur, Lincoln and Champaign.

Burk said he has been “retired for 20 years,” but continues to work 15 hours each week. Unlike many other long-time meat cutters, Burk’s health hasn’t suffered from the repetitive motion problems so common in the business.

For the complete article see the 02-19-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-19-2013 paper.

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